Eureka County

Eureka County
Completed 1880

Eureka was first settled after silver-lead ore was discovered in 1864, but didn't grow due to difficulties extracting the ore. In 1869, the first smelter was built in Eureka and the town began to grow. By 1873, it was decided that Austin, the Lander County seat, was too far away from the growing community and a new county, known as Eureka, was created in 1873. That same year, work began on the Eureka & Palisade Railroad, a narrow gauge that would connect the mines in Eureka to the Southern Pacific in Palisade. The new railroad ran almost the entire length of Eureka County, and was completed in 1875.

By the 1890s, work had almost completely ceased in Eureka. The Railroad chugged along until its abandonment in 1938, and ranches were developed in places like Diamond Valley. Throughout the years, small mining camps have come and gone, and today only one large-scale mine is in operation: the Ruby Hill Mine just west of Eureka.

Eureka is one of the most remote counties in Nevada. The Southern Pacific and Interstate 80 pass through the northern end near Beowawe, and the 'Loneliest Road in America' passes through the county seat. Only one lone highway connects the two. Aside from Eureka, the only three communities in Eureka County are Beowawe, Crescent Valley, and Palisade - each with only a handful of residents.